Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Boy Scouts Ban Squirt Guns. What Should We Do About It?

May 20th, 2015 by Vader

The Boy Scouts of America are slowly succumbing to modernity.

According to recent BSA policy, the above picture is unkind and unsafe, unless the boy is wearing safety glasses and only pointing the super soaker at an approved target on an approved range.  Grinning while doing it has not yet been explicitly banned.


The BSA policy is being understandably mocked in the press. (more…)

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May 20th, 2015 08:44:13

Service and the Atonement

May 18th, 2015 by G.

Did he also experience all the small acts of kindness, and service, where people went out of their way to “lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees”? Did he experience the joy that the lonely feel when one reaches out to them to let them know they matter and are cared about? Did he feel the hope restored when we visit someone who is sick or in prison and cheered their hearts? Did he feel the relief of the overwhelmed when someone paused to share their burden with them? Did he feel the relief we feel when someone forgives us of our screwups and mistakes, or when someone shows us undeserved mercy?

-thus Jon Goff.  Read the whole thing.

It reminded me of the Royal Largesse theory of the atonement.  It gives a Christmas flavor to Easter doctrines.

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May 18th, 2015 12:46:22

What are Our Children Worth to Us?

May 18th, 2015 by G.

Saturday I came home mid-morning from helping a neighbor with his irrigation turn. My son met me at the door. Can anyone be as solemn as a kid with an announcement? Solemnly, he informed me he couldn’t plant corn that day. (more…)

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May 18th, 2015 09:33:15

The Past is a Childish Country

May 13th, 2015 by G.

The other day, when we were getting ready to put the kids to bed, our oldest pulled one of us aside and described a day he suddenly remembered from a few years ago, “when I was little.” It was nothing very unusual, just a funny way we were sitting next to each other and talking. But he recalled it with what was clearly a lot of fondness. Here was a seven-year-old waxing nostalgic about the good old days when he was four, and we thought how much more of this he has to look forward to, how many more years he has to pile up good memories before he leaves the nest for good. And all of us will have this to draw on for the rest of our lives.

-the Tracinskis


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May 13th, 2015 09:14:39

Bubbly Woe

May 11th, 2015 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life. (more…)

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May 11th, 2015 09:46:52

Repentance is Suicide

May 01st, 2015 by MC


The fear of change is the fear of death. They are not similar fears; they are the same fear, only manifested in different circumstances. (more…)

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May 01st, 2015 01:11:51

The Atonement was Outside the Walls

April 30th, 2015 by G.

Reading a Catholic priest’s sermon here, I ran across this interesting point.  Both aspects of the atonement, in the garden and on the cross, took place outside the walls of Jerusalem.  That is, symbolically, outside the domain of order and civilization, and in the domain of chaos and disorder.  In other words, in both, Christ put himself in Satan’s power.  The sermoner doesn’t realize, of course, that Gethsemane was part of the atonement, but that makes his argument all the stronger. (more…)

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April 30th, 2015 11:33:20

What is Repentance?

April 22nd, 2015 by G.

Repentance is recognizing reality

from Bruce Charlton  (paraphrased)

One thing that quote means (not the only thing) is this: the reality is that sin is really bad.  Sinful, in fact.  Not least among the ways Christ made repentance possible through the atonement is simply by showing in his person how serious sin is.  Sin required the Son of God to suffer.  The human character is mostly incapable of taking a transgression seriously if it can simply be waved off.

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April 22nd, 2015 08:23:04

Rome, Religion, and Rates of Change: Juxtapositions X

April 21st, 2015 by G.

  • The Roman East was rich and the Roman West wasn’t. Maybe that’s not why Rome fell why Constantinople kept on truckin’, but it didn’t help. It’s hard to fight for your life on a budget. But the Roman East was probably always richer. Rome rose in the poorer area. The difference was the trajectory. When Rome rose, the poor West was getting richer fast while the rich East was static. That meant a lot of new resources and capital that a savvy power could use for momentum. When Rome fell, neither the West nor the East were growing, but Rome was poorer.


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April 21st, 2015 11:45:30

Angina Monologue 14

April 12th, 2015 by Vader

I’ve discovered this week just how much His Majesty can be a pain in the


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April 12th, 2015 22:00:24

Howdy, Flatfoot

April 12th, 2015 by G.

Hartley's new 'Cowboy Hat'

Your son must have wheedled your wife while shopping this week.  You deduce this when you hear a call from your entryway this Sunday morning.  “Come and see, Dad, come and see.  I’m going to wear a cowboy hat to church just like you, Dad.”

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April 12th, 2015 21:11:48

A mark Satan cannot give

April 10th, 2015 by Vader

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April 10th, 2015 12:18:41

Modern Witnesses of the Resurrection

April 05th, 2015 by G.

When Joseph Smith gave his witness, “last of all,” of the risen Savior, he was only the first of this dispensation.  There have since been many of others, some of whom have given their witness publicly.  Some have been collected here.



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April 05th, 2015 12:13:14

As Man is, God Once Was

April 03rd, 2015 by G.

As Man is, God once was.

As God is, Man may be.

There is lots of scriptural support for the second half of Lorenzo Snow’s couplet. There is little support for the first half, the way President Snow meant it.

There are alternate meanings, though.  The couplet is quasi-scriptural. Scripture usually has more than one layer of meaning. (more…)

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April 03rd, 2015 09:07:33

Christ and the General Will

April 03rd, 2015 by G.

What do people collectively want? It’s hard to say. Voting gives you one kind of answer, but voting isn’t nuanced. Voters can only say yes or no to ballot questions as phrased and as they understand them. It’s possible that with more explanation they might feel differently, or with even slightly different phrasing they choose the other option.   Or else they can only select between candidates. Different voting systems give different answers. Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem says that no voting system can ever perfectly capture voter intent. Polls are even more fallible.

That’s where the concept of the General Will comes in. What if someone knew the people well enough to have an intuitive, almost literary, sense of what they wanted? That’s why dictatorships claim to be democracies. They say they’re giving the nation what it really, collectively, wants.

The reason it’s hard to know what voters want is because it’s hard to know what a voter wants. Individuals are something like a collection of people over time. No man can step in the same river twice, the Greek said, because it’s never the same man. The mind is always engaged in editing memory to fit the needs of the present, which it wouldn’t need to do if we were really fully the same throughout, if we always had the same end in view. (more…)

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April 03rd, 2015 07:16:01